SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there is hereby established of a Area Network Program, to be overseen by the Department of Energy Resources in coordination with interested community development corporations and other non-profit organizations interested in solar energy issues and working in effected areas. The Department of Energy Resources shall be directed to solicit interest from community development corporations and other non-profit organizations interested in solar energy issues and working in effected areas around the commonwealth within 60 days of adoption of this legislation, and cause a committee composed of staff members and representatives of such organizations to convene within 90 days of this legislation being adopted. The committee shall be directed to contract with engineers and system designers licensed in Massachusetts to investigate the technical issues restricting safe implementation of solar power within the areas served by “Area Networks.” The committee working with capable system designers and engineers shall develop at least three strategies of developing photovoltaic solar power within areas effected by “Area networks” at least one which shall involve use of property owners associations and locally-stored electrical power and implement test models of each strategy within a community in Massachusetts.
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